In the Jan. 28 Honolulu Advertiser, columnist Tanya Bricking, in a dismissive manner, alludes to the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, Pele, and Pele’s domain, after she received a collection of Lava Rocks on her desk returned to the islands by a concerned visitor.
Her “Mystic bad luck lava rock” story reminds one of the slowly eroding respect, knowledge and appreciation toward the Hawaiian culture that is resultant of the influx of disrespectful outsiders to the islands.
It’s the californication of Hawaii.
Sounding like a fresh-off-the-boat haole tourist, she alludes to the respect for Pele and her aina as superstition, and is sure all her other “colleagues” would throw the rocks in the trash.
Ms. Bricking says she would return the rocks to the Big Island of Hawaii where the rocks came from, not out of respect for Pele, but simply because she doesn’t want to take any chances of experiencing bad luck.
(Editor’s Note: The Hawaiian belief is Pele, the Goddess of Fire and keeper of the Hawaiian volcanoes, will seek vengeance against anyone who takes rocks from the places she guards, and they will experience bad luck or even death as a result.)
To add insult to injury, Ms. Bricking says she has always been intrigued by real life “bad luck rock stories” since watching the “Brady Bunch cursed tiki episode.”
If Ms. Bricking were really interested in these “stories” as much as she implies, she would study and read through her own newspaper’s archives or page through any number of books on Hawaiian Culture, including those by Hawaii Author Glen Grant.
Then she might possess the appropriate degree of respect for the subject, and author no columns making light of Pele and the returning of “bad luck” lava rocks.
”’Allen StJames is a resident of Honolulu and can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org